The Chinese Crested Dog

The Chinese Crested Dog

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There are so many varieties of dog breeds to choose from. All breeds have their own special traits, but there is one in particular that sticks out; the Chinese Crested. The Chinese Crested has caused a greater division of opinion than any other breed. Few are indifferent to it, but it is usually either loved or hated. (Fogle, 1995, p.539) The Crested has often been dismissed as inadequate due to its physical appearance, but over the years has managed to survive and grow in popularity.
The origin of the Chinese Crested is unknown, but it is believed that it started in Africa and evolved from the African Hairless Terrier. During the time of the Chinese plagues, it is believed that Chinese trading ships would stop along the shores of Africa on their routes and take these dogs aboard their ships to hunt vermin. ("") From there, dogs were spread all over the world. The Crested is thought to have traveled to North America in the early 1800’s. ("")
The crested has been known by several different names depending on where it was found. In China it was known as the Chinese hairless, the Chinese Edible Dog, the Chinese Ship Dog, and the Chinese Royal Hairless. In Egypt it was called a Pyramid, or Giza Hairless, and in Turkey they were known as the Turkish Hairless. (American Kennel Club, 2006, p.462) They were also known as the “Fever Dog” because it was believed that by simply touching their skin, it would cure a fever. (Fogle, 1995, p.539) Today the breed is known as, the Chinese Crested.
The Chinese Crested isn’t always hairless. In fact, this breed can be one of two types; hairless and powder puff. The hairless should only have hair on its head, tail, and feet and the powder puff has hair all over its body. Their coats can be a variety of different colors; solid, mixed or spotted all over. When seeing them together, at first, the hairless and powder puff look like different breeds. But after becoming more familiar with the breed, it is easy to see that they are almost exactly the same, except for their hair.(American Kennel Club, 2006, p.463)
Due to its small size, the Chinese Crested is part of the toy breed category. They are usually 11 – 13 inches tall. They usually weigh between 10 – 13 pounds. And their life expectancy is usually between 10 – 12 years.

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When owning a dog, there are always going to be benefits and challenges depending on personal preference. Some benefits of owning a hairless dog is that it has no body odor, no heavy shedding and no fleas. (Morris , 2002, p. 539) The Chinese Crested are wonderful family dogs who love to be with the people in their lives. They are considered excellent therapy dogs, are easy to train and respond well to children. ("") Also, they are very playful, alert and intelligent. Although grooming for the hairless is minimal, its skin needs protection from both the sun and cold weather.(Fogle, 2010, p. 67) Genetically, hairless dogs do not breed very successfully; they usually have teeth and toenail abnormalities, problems with allergies, and thyroid issues. ("") But with any breed comes health problems of some sort.
Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous exotic dancer, acquired a crested from her sister in the early 1950’s and she started bringing more attention to the breed. She became a devoted breeder and helped considerably in publicizing the breed. (American Kennel Club, 2006, p. 463) The Chinese Crested dog is the 62nd most popular breed in the United States out of 175 AKC-recognized breeds!(“AKA Dog Registration,” 2012) This breed has also been very popular in ugliest dog competitions over the years. Year-by-year, this breed seems to gain a little more recognition and popularity.
Although there are such strong opinions of this breed, it still continues to win the hearts of many people. This breed has a lot to offer and is a great companion to have. They are small, they don’t require a lot of exercise, and they love to cuddle. They do well in apartments and urban living so depending what you are looking for in a dog, they make a really great pet if you can look beyond physical appearance.

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